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Fitness goals

Can we lose weight with diet only?

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There are some people that hate exercise and it doesn´t matter which activity I tell them to do they do it once and never again and the excuses of why they can´t do exercises are infinite like it´s so hard, they´re out of shape, they sweat and they hate to sweat, they don´t have time, etc.

Even when losing weight following only a diet and not doing exercise is not the best weight to do it is possible.

Lets be clear about what weight loss means, in general weight loss means losing fat, losing water and losing muscle. This is what happens when you don´t do exercise and only follow a very strict calorie diet. If you do this you´ll end up being skinny and the worst part of this is that losing muscle mass have negative effects long term so focusing on improving body composition is key or at least maintain the amount of muscle you have.

It´s so hard to maintain muscle if you´re not exercising and you´ll get to a point where your body will start burning muscle mass when you are on calorie deficit because there´s no reason for your body to keep that muscle, you are not using it. When you lose muscle your metabolism slows.

Reducing fat and increasing or maintaining muscle mass is the way to go and your goals must be targeted to this. If you don´t want to exercise and you only want to follow a diet to lose weight which I don´t recommend you´ll need to consider two things, calorie intake and insulin.

You´ll need to reduce calories to be able to create a deficit to force your body to use stored fat for energy, this deficit will need to be higher than if you were doing some exercise. Reducing calories will get you to a point where you can´t lower calories more which makes it almost impossible to lose more fat.

Insulin can make fat loss easier or block it, if you are insulin resistant you´ll need to improve insulin sensitivity by lowering carbohydrates or following some type of intermittent fasting. If insulin is high your body won´t burn fat efficiently and insulin get triggered with carbohydrates , intermittent fasting helps lower insulin when you are in a fasted state.

If you only follow a diet and don´t exercise you´ll end up being skinny causing more problems long term, once you stop the diet you´ll gain the weight back and you´ll gain even more weight thanks to the slow on metabolism. Now you have less muscle and your body needs lower calories to maintain your physique.

If you hate to workout and only focus on a diet, you´ll need to be very strict lowering calories a bit more than if you were working out and you´ll need to eliminate all sweets, junk, processed and fast food and you´ll also need to eliminate or at least reduce complex carbohydrates like oats, rice, potatoes, you may even need to avoid fruit and you need to stick with meats, fish, eggs, a lot of vegetables and healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

Going to this extreme is not necessary and it´s obviously not healthy, if you are one of this people you need to continue trying different type of exercises until you find one that you like and enjoy, you can try yoga, boxing, circuit training or you can combine them. You don´t need to do the same type of exercise every day or every week, you can change it every day, every week or every month.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

Why we need to reduce sugar and carbohydrates

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I´ve been researching and learning as much as I can about nutrition, training, mindset, sleep and stress to help as much people as possible live a better life and from everything I´ve learnt reducing sugar and carbohydrates are the most important step you can take on nutrition.

We consume a lot of sugars and carbohydrates, a lot more than our body needs, refined sugar is in almost all processed foods and high consumption of this foods is related to diseases like obesity, overweight, insulin resistance, diabetes and more.

It´s true that carbohydrates are the preferred form of energy for our body but it can also use fat as energy, this is why diets like ketogenics that are high in fat and really low in carbs work really well. Even when our body uses carbohydrates for energy the amount you need is around 2 – 3 grams per pound of body weight (use this numbers as a guide) how much you train and the type of train along with your daily activities play an important role on your total grams but if you take this numbers just to give you an idea, it´s recommended around 30 to 40 grams of sugar per day and the average consumption is around 80 per day.

Sugar creates addiction when you eat it you want more this is why it is so hard to avoid all this unhealthy foods from your diet. I´ve talked a lot on some post about the negative effects of sugar. The biggest problem is that most people are not conscious of the total amount of sugar they eat every single day, and it´s not only one day or two, it´s every day. This is the most important cause of many diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and others. The amount of sugar we consume every day is so high so if there´s one thing you can do to eat healthy, live healthy and lose weight is to reduce sugar.

The food industry took advantage  with low fat, low sugar products. You can find a lot of “healthy” foods and “whole” grain foods, from nutrition and protein bars to chocolate snacks, healthy whole chips and the list goes on. Even when these package foods claim to be healthy they´re loaded with many hidden sugars. All the processed food or at list most of them contain hidden sugars, it´s in everything.

As you may know by now, every time you eat sugar increase glucose in the bloodstream and your pancreas needs to release insulin to take the sugar out of the blood. Too much sugar is harmful, our body cannot manage high amounts of sugar continually. There are other hormones involve like leptin which leads to overeating (I will talk more about leptin on other post).

Reducing carbohydrates is the best thing you can do not only to lose weight but to be healthier, I´m not saying to eliminate them completely you want to keep healthy carbohydrates  like oatmeal, potatoes, rice, corn torillas or pasta there are some other foods that are consider carbohydrates which are high in fiber like beans and legumes and you also want those. The ones you need to avoid are simple carbohydrates like sweets, junk, processed and fast foods.

How many carbohydrates you can consume per day depends of your body, if you are insulin sensitive you can eat more, if you are insulin resistant you need to lower carbohydrates. If you are obese or overweight chances are you are insulin resistant so the first thing you need to do is avoid simple carbohydrates, this includes sweets, junk, processed and fast food and stick with complex carbohydrates like oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes once you feel comfortable with this if you need to reduce carbohydrates you can start reducing the amount of complex carbs you eat per day.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Breathing to improve sleep

19 Breathing to improve sleep
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High levels of stress are one of the most common causes of sleep problems, if we are stressed our body can´t relax and stay calm so it´s harder to fall asleep, if our mind is thinking in all the negative stuff of the day and we´re worried for something we will wake up constantly during the night.

Breathing is an amazing tool that help us get asleep faster and improve all aspects of our sleep patterns. Have you ever think of how you feel and what´s happening in your body and mind when you can´t fall asleep? In most cases we are stressed, our body and muscle are in tension and our mind is buzzing around.

The way we can fall asleep and get good quality sleep for longer periods is by calming our mind and relaxing our muscles and entire body, once our mind is calm and our entire body is relax we can fall asleep quickly.

Many people use breathing techniques to help them sleep and many of them prefer to do any of the exercises sitting in a chair or the floor, I prefer to do them lying in the bed just ready to sleep. If the goal with this breathing techniques is to fall asleep and not meditate then you can do them lying in your bed, if the goal is to meditate it´s better to sit in a chair or the floor otherwise you will fall asleep.

When we are stressed our body is alert and this sends the signal to our brain that it´s not time to relax and rest this is why we can´t fall asleep, with breathing techniques we slow our breathing and what this those is that as our breathe slows it sends the message to the brain that it´s time to calm down and our entire body starts to slow down and relax.

The best way to do this so that it actually works is to focus on breathing and keep your mind also focus on your breathe, for this you can use the 4 – 7 – 8 breathing technique by Dr. Andrew Weil or if you know other technique that uses counting while breathing go for it. Here you inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 7 and exhale for a count of 8 and repeat this 3 times.

The special point about this is that you need to be focus and aware of what you are doing so that you don´t lose the count this way the mind is engaged and you start feeling your breathe going slower and your whole body relaxing.

This tool needs to be done daily if you want to get the benefits, if you do this one day and you want it to work perfectly, it won´t you need time and you need to make it a habit specially if you have sleep disorders. As always when you start anything new you´ll feel wear doing this exercises and your mind will start wandering in all that thoughts you want to avoid, when you catch your mind wandering just bring it back to the breathing exercise, do not blame yourself or feel bad, remember that is something new for you.

Breathing techniques are also a great tool to use before meditation and visualization, for any meditation or visualization technique to work efficiently your mind needs to be calm, focus on breathing deeply and sense how your body relax.

There are so many different breathing techniques, some more advance than others but is important that you take one step at a time and start with something simple, once you develop it as a habit you can try more advanced techniques that go according to what you want to achieve.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life. Pam

Stress

How we react to stressful situations is key

19 How we react to situations is key
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We all live stressful situations, sometimes life gets though and the only thing we can do is figure out how to get through those moments in a way that help us grow and with the best positive outcome, for this to be positive the way we react is key.

In negative situations if we react to them negatively it can lead to anxiety and depression not only stress, we are all living under pressure and with chronic stress and negative environments make everything worse. We never know when we´re going to be in a completely negative and hard situation so we need to know what to do to keep us in the present moment and be able to figure out strategies that can help us get the best result.

When we are under stress we tend to react to the situation which only makes the problem worse and we make terrible decisions. In many cases things end the worst way possible and the  cause of that is the way we reacted to the situation, our mind is amazing at helping us create the worst case scenarios so we get anxious, at those moments we can´t think clearly and the choices we make are based on anxiety, stress and fear when we let those emotions control our decisions we make the worst.

We need to learn to control how we react or how we respond to those situations and we also need to control our emotions, the problem is that this goes on in our subconscious, is a habit, we don´t stop to think what is the best way to react it only happens but we change this by taking control.

The first thing we need to do is stay calm in the middle of negativity, stress, chaos, it may not be possible to walk away from it so you need to know how to calm your mind and body.

Here are some techniques you can use:

1.- Breathing techniques.- When we are in a stress full situation our heart rate increases, adrenaline increases, we are more alert. Stop for a moment and take some deep breathes to calm down, focus on your breathe and take your mind to the present moment, to this for a couple of minutes and then make decisions.

2.- Think positively.- Don´t let your mind start creating all kind of negative outcomes, instead take control of your mind and think of every positive outcome you can imagine and figure out ways to achieve those outcomes.

3.- Take time.- Do not make decisions when you are living though times, if you can take a couple of hours before you decide, in those hours meditate or do some breathing exercises, physical activity also helps.

Controlling the way you respond takes time, and you won´t be able to change it from one day to another, you need to start with small steps every day, we all get angry or annoyed even with small situations we live every single day while driving, in the supermarket. When you are in any situation that stress you just stop and take a deep breath, don´t make the issue bigger than it actually is.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Nutrition

The effects of junk and processed food on our body

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The convenience and price of this unhealthy food is what makes it an important part of our lives without considering the long term damage. The lifestyles we´re having this days are so unhealthy in many different ways, we spend most of our day sitting at the office, in the couch when we´re back home in the car to travel from home to the office and back home, our daily activities had reduced; the levels of stress keep raising caused by traffic, our job or school; and the unhealthy food choices we make every single day are killing us and are getting us sick and also our loved ones.

I understand that it may be difficult for you to cook every single meal and that´s probably the biggest reason why you buy fast or processed food, it makes your life easier, but… at what cost?

Food has a direct impact on how you feel it affects your mood, food is the cause of you feeling tired, lazy, depressed, anxious all this are short term reactions caused by unhealthy food, if you continue eating this type of foods your health problems will get bigger, you´ll gain weight, you´ll become insulin resistant and it can get worst turning into diabetes and other diseases.

I believe food is the cause of our bad mood, obesity, overweight and related diseases and also it´s the reason why it´s so hard to lose weight and keep it off, food affects your brain it´s more a mental battle and mindset which I´ll explain deeper in the next post.

What big companies are doing is create amazing marketing campaigns targeted specially to kids to buy their products full of chemicals that are harmful for our body and are killing our loved ones and the people we care about. Some of this chemicals are used to create addiction similar to alcohol and cigarettes so that you continue buying and consuming the product, all this companies are more interested on selling and money than on your health. The two biggest problems with this type of food are:

1.- They´re empty calories

Your body needs nutrients, your body does a lot of different processes every single day just to keep you alive, it tries as hard as it can to maintain you as healthy as possible and it has to work hard against all the stress and low physical activity plus a nutrition program that doesn´t have any nutrients. There´s no way for your body to function properly every day, to keep you healthy and to sustain a fat loss process when it doesn´t have the food it needs to support all that work.

This unhealthy foods are so high in calories and to low in nutrients, that´s why some people call them “empty calories”. All this empty calories full of chemicals to make you eat more of them do not give nutrients to your body, they´re just an excess of calories and energy that your body can´t use most of them as sugars and trans fats that your body store as fat.

2.- Your body can´t digest it and use it properly

This unhealthy foods are not real, fresh or natural, they are created or manufactured by companies so your body doesn´t know what to do with them, how to use them and it´s very hard to digest them. There are a lot of sugars, trans fats and chemicals that are poison for your body which are the ones that are causing diseases and increasing obesity, overweight, diabetes, cancer and the list goes on.

Every time you eat this foods your body needs to work harder to digest them so other processes in your body slows down to prioritize digestion and at the end there are no nutrients that can be use to sustain daily activities.

Once your body digest all that food it takes time to get rid of the toxic stuff and it´s not efficient anymore.

For me, health and weight come down to living a healthy lifestyle based on healthy habits that include working out every day, eating healthy foods and having the right mindset. If you treat your body right it will respond in the best way possible.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

What we need to know about sleep disorders

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Some of us don´t give sleep the importance it deserve, we have a lot of things to do and we love doing them that we don´t want to go to sleep, we´re so inspired and motivated by our work that someone needs to stop us, others don´t sleep enough because they need to finish their work even when they hate what they do and there are some others that can get 8 hours of sleep every night, they go to bed early but can´t fall asleep.

If you are in the last group you may have a sleep disorder and it´s the reason why you can´t fall asleep or you wake up at night, here are some of the most common sleep disorders:

1.- Insomnia.- When you have trouble to fall asleep or you wake up frequently during the night and when you wake up you don´t feel rested you feel like you didn´t get enough sleep, this can be caused by stress, jet lag, illness.

2.- Sleep apnea.- Here the regular pattern of breathing while you are sleep gets interrupted for short periods of time because the airway gets blocked.

3.- Nightmares.- This one is when our dreams are scary and we get frightened and fearful so we wake up, if this happens every once in a while is normal but when it´s constant it can be caused by stress, anxiety or worries.

4.- Shift work.- Working at night goes against the internal clock of the body and it´s harder to stay alert and productive during work time and you may have trouble to get 7 – 8 hours of sleep during day. Blocking all light and noises during your sleep time is key to help you get as much sleep as you can.

5.- Restless legs syndrome.- If you feel the urge to move your legs at night while you are sleeping you may suffer from RLS, one of the causes is low levels of iron but there can be more.

We all suffer from sleep disorders from time to time, if we´re dealing with a very stressful situation, if we´ve been traveling a lot, if we are worried, it´s normal to have some nights of poor sleep every once in a while but when this is consistent then we need to do something.

There are different treatments for sleep disorders, some of them will be more beneficial than others and as with any other treatment you will get results fast, at least the symptoms will lower but almost all sleep disorders can be improved by making some changes to our lifestyle that start with making better choices, being more active during the day, especially in the morning, reducing stress and following a healthy nutrition program will improve the quality of sleep.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Stress

How positivity lowers stress

18 How positivity lowers stress
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It´s normal nowadays to spend most of our time focusing on negativity, almost all news are negative, in school and our jobs we pay more attention to the negative than the positive, this is because we are programmed to survive so our brains are more interested on that information so find ways to keep us alive but this create a cycle of negative thoughts and negative self-talk which increases stress in our lives.

All of us have lived some amazing moments full of positivity, have you ever wonder how everything gets better at least for a period of time? When we are in a positive state we attract more positive stuff to our lives, we are enjoying the moment and our mind is completely present.

I think you already know how negative thinking and negative self-talk increases stress. We´ve all been in negative situations and we´ve all lived moments of stress and in those moments our brain starts creating an unlimited chain of negative thoughts with everything that could go wrong and in just a couple of minutes we are more stressed out and anxious thanks to the situation and our negative and pessimistic thoughts made it worst.

Positive thinking doesn´t means that you keep repeating positive affirmations or that you try to ignore any negative situation you are in, what positivity means is that you see and focus on the positive aspects of every situation, even in the worst situations you try to find out a positive outlook.

Our thoughts have an impact on our health so if we want t olive a better life we need to start thinking more positively and see the positive in every situation, some health benefits of living a positive life are:

1.- Lower stress.- When we focus on the positive Outlook we reduce our anxiety and we start thinking on positive results and ways we can solve the issue, we´re focused on what could go right and find ways to make those right results.

2.- Lower anxiety.- When we focus on the positive side web ring our brain to the present moment, we are aware of what´s going on and we look for ways to get the best positive result so our brain stop creating negative results.

3.- Lower depression.- In most cases our brain create negative future results based on past experiences, when we focus on a positive result we stop our brain from taking information from the past and focus on getting the best positive result.

4.- Physical health and well-being.- When we live and focus in the positive we are raising our frequency and vibration which makes us feel more alive and help us make better choices through the day that keep us healthy, we find it easier to eat healthy meals, we have more energy and motivation to exercise.

Positivity is a lifestyle, you need to make positivity part of your life by keeping positive thoughts the entire day and making sure that your self-talk is positive. Being kind with everyone around you is also part of a positive lifestyle, practicing gratitude every day will also keep you in that positive state.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

My thoughts on fat Thor

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Avengers: Endgame came out on April 26 and for the past week I´ve been reading and hearing comments about Thor. Most of those comments are negative, some stay at how bad he look but others go deeper by claiming that the other characters make fun of him and how disrespectful that is for obese and overweight people.

In the film we can see Thor with long hair and beard and he´s gained weight, he spend the time playing video games and drinking beer. We can see how other characters make jokes at Thor´s expense but it doesn´t bother him.

My thoughts on this are that Thor went through a lot of pain, physical, mental and emotional; he lost family, friends and people he cared about, and he blame himself for not being able to stop Thanos which makes him feel like failure, he lose confidence so when he return to Asgard he´s dealing with too much stuff and he stops taking care of himself. Then some scenes later he talks with his mom and she sees the pain, that scene when their talking and his moms tells him that everyone fails and then Thor´s line of still being worthy are highly emotional. At the end we see Thor regaining confidence and feeling worthy.

Watching many Marvel movies, especially the ones from Iron Man to Avengers: Endgame we can see that humor is part of all movies. The jokes making fun of Thor from my point of view are not making fun of him being fat which is what most people are saying, it is more to the complete situation, how Thor lose confidence, feel like a failure and stopped taking care of himself which lead to poor habits and how he let himself become this new version which is relatable to many of us.

For me what they did in the movie was an amazing representation of how some situations can lead to depression and alter our lifestyle in a negative way by making wrong choices every day, eating unhealthy foods, lack of exercise, a negative mindset with thoughts that keep us stuck in the past and all this leads to obesity and overweight and that´s just the beginning. This creates a cycle of unhealthy habits which is so hard to stop, we get attached to those experiences and until we let them go we won´t be able to make any change.

We´ve all lived that, we´ve all been through difficult situations and while for some of us it´s easier to let them go and get on the right track faster, for others is very hard and complicated. We all need someone to help us get through those times, also changing the environment is helpful to break our unhealthy habits and routines and start making better choices.

It´s so hard to stop that negative cycle and start making a change, we need to be conscious and aware of every choice we make and if it´s an unhealthy choice we need to change it for a better one, we can´t let our subconscious make decisions because if we do we´ll end making the same unhealthy choices over and over.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Fitness goals

How marketing and companies impact our results

17 How marketing companies affect your results
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Many people buy products just because they saw the commercial on the tv or the ad on social media without taking some time first to see if the product is really healthy or not. The food industry is huge and selling is the priority. Many of the physical and mental health issues we´re dealing with nowadays are caused by our lifestyles, our diet is based on highly processed foods which are loaded with sugars, unhealthy fats and chemicals.

Most of the decisions we make are based on marketing campaigns or what some friend or family told us about a certain product.

Companies need to sell their products so they take every new trend and create an amazing marketing campaign around it to sell, they sell to our emotions, they tell us what we want to hear and in some cases it may not be true.

But the fast pace of the times we´re living also have a huge impact on our decisions, most of us by processed food for convenience, it´s a lot easier to take some packaged food for snacks or meals than to cook meals and carry them with you.

If your health is great or at least good you will still be getting great results even if you eat a lot of processed foods but for people with insulin resistant, or people who consider food as their first option every time their feeling down or depressed as a way to feel good then processed food is a big problem.

If you see or hear any commercial from any fast food restaurant or any new processed food and you need to go out there and buy it, or you just go out to find food and you buy the first thing you find then companies affect you more then you can realize, all this companies and marketing are controlling your life, your decisions and your health. You can start any fitness program but those results won´t last and it´s not because you´re not stronger enough or because you are not capable, it´s because of your habits and behaviors.

All processed food triggers some reaction in your brain that makes you feel good and give you some kind of pleasure, this is why you turn to food whenever you feel down and also the chemicals in food make you addicted to them so it´s hard to eat just one.

If you are obese and overweight and you´re blaming yourself, let me tell you that it´s not your fault, it may be thanks to the way we grew up, the habits and behaviors from our society but the culprits are the food companies and their marketing campaigns. Most processed products that companies create are full of refined sugar, trans fats and chemicals that trigger some responses in your brain that make you feel good and that make you addicted to them so that you continue buying and consuming and they keep getting richer. All marketing campaigns created by big companies to sell their products are targeted to our emotions and subconscious mind so that you try their new product and you continue buying it.

You need to stop blaming yourself and know that the choice to stay the same or change your body and your life for better is yours. The solution is in your hands and you are the only one who can decide and take control of your life and your health.

Do not believe what big companies say to sell their products, take the time to check them for yourself, by reading labels you´ll realize that you´ve been fooled into believing that those products are healthy when they actually aren´t and you´ll be able to make better choices based on the information that you now know.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

Blue light and sleep

17 Blue light and sleep
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I see people almost every day trying to make better choices and live a better life but all of them only consider diet and exercise, when I tell them about the importance of sleep I get so may excuses related to why they can´t get enough good quality sleep every night.

The biggest cause of poor sleep nowadays is blue light which is the light emitted from the screens of electronic devices and some light bulbs. What this light does is that it disrupts our brains sleep-wake cycle.

Our body has a natural internal clock called circadian rhythm which is the one that tells your body when it´s time to sleep and when to wake up there are many factors that can get this internal clock out of balance one of them is blue light. Making some changes to our life have a huge impact on our sleep patterns that will improve our entire lives.

We spend a big part of our day in front of a computer and later in the day when the sun sets down we turn on light bulbs to finish what we´re doing and some of us right before going to bed or when we´re already in bed we take some time to check social media on out phones. This delay the release of melatonin and resets the circadian rhythm this is why it takes us longer to fall asleep. Have you asked yourself why you can´t go asleep fast some nights? have you paid attention what were you doing before going to bed or if you were using any electronic device in bed?

Since melatonin delays and it took us longer to fall asleep the phases of sleep also get impacted negatively so when we wake up we don´t feel rested even if we get the 7 or 8 hours.

Even when technology if s crucial part of our daily lives there are some things we can do to reduce blue light and get better sleep:

1.- Turn off all lights 1 hour before going to bed (this include electronic devices like Tv, computers, laptops, ipads, phones, bulbs).

2.- Keep your bedroom completely dark

3.- If you need to work late night (which I don´t recommend) you can get romantic and use candles or you can use a red or orange lamp.

4.- Glasses the block blue light. Nowadays you can find some glasses that blocks blue light effectively, if you have access to them use them, otherwise the first 3 points work incredibly well.

As I´ve said in other posts getting natural light from the sun specially in the morning, having an sleeping schedule where you go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day and following the points on this post will improve the quality and quantity of sleep.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam